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For Immediate Release: 12/28/2016

Contact: Emma Lasch |
Office of Media Relations and Communications | (518) 471-5300


Red Ribbons Distributed at Select Toll Plazas and Service Areas to Spread DWI Prevention Awareness During Holiday Season

The New York State Thruway Authority, in collaboration with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and New York State Police Troop T today kicked off the 30th Annual Red Ribbon Campaign. During the campaign, Thruway Authority toll collectors will hand out red ribbons at select toll plazas along the Thruway to promote awareness about the dangers of driving while intoxicated.

The ribbons will be distributed to motorists upon entry at the following Thruway locations: New Rochelle Toll Barrier; exit 15 (NJ I-287 South); exit 17 (Newburgh); exit 24 (Albany); exit B3 (NY Route 22 - Mass Pike); exit 25A (Schenectady); exit 34A (Syracuse - I-481); exit 36 (Watertown - Binghamton); exit 39 (Syracuse - I-690); exit 45 (Rochester I-490); exit 46 (Rochester I-390); exit 50 (Williamsville); exit 55 (Lackawanna); exit 61 (Ripley – PA State Line) and the Grand Island Bridge North Toll Barrier.

In addition to participating in the ribbon handout, the Thruway Authority will be posting a reminder to “Drive Safely, Stay Sober” on variable message signs across the Thruway.

“The holidays are a tremendously busy time with motorists hitting the road to visit their friends and loved ones. It is vital that we highlight MADD’s message about the dangers of drunk and impaired driving,” said Acting Executive Director Bill Finch. “We are proud to partner once again with MADD and New York State Police in the Red Ribbon Campaign to emphasize the importance of staying sober while traveling this season and year-round.”

New York State Police Superintendent George P. Beach II said, "Drunk and impaired driving is a choice that needlessly kills hundreds and injures thousands in our state each year. If your holiday celebrations include drinking, plan ahead to make certain that you have a safe ride home. We are proud to partner with MADD and the Thruway Authority to ensure that motorists make the right choice to drive sober and safely this holiday season."

Richard Mallow, Executive Director of MADD New York State said, "Between Christmas and New Year's is the most dangerous time to be on the roads. MADD asks everyone to have a plan to get home from holiday and family parties safely - whether that is a non-drinking designated driver or a ride sharing service. Keep everyone safe. Happy New Year."

The Red Ribbon Campaign is MADD’s longest running and most visible public awareness project. The foot-long red ribbons, a symbol chosen by MADD in 1986, are meant to be displayed on motorists’ vehicles to raise public awareness regarding the dangers of impaired driving as well as to encourage all motorists to take the pledge of driving safe, sober and buckled up at all times.

Nationwide Insurance is the National Presenting Sponsor for MADD’s Red Ribbon Campaign.

MADD was established in 1980 to advocate safe driving. The national organization has more than 600 affiliates nationwide, with 18 chapters throughout New York State. MADD focuses on finding effective solutions to the problems of drunk driving and underage drinking, as well as supporting those who have suffered from the consequences of both. 

MADD also expresses support for law enforcement crackdown efforts, particularly during the holiday season when the number of alcohol-related crashes rises.  New York State Police Troop T will be conducting specialized patrols and a fixed checkpoint in undisclosed locations along the Thruway during the holiday season.
In addition to red ribbons, Thruway Service Area concessionaires will provide complimentary coffee on New Year’s Eve and into New Year’s Day.

For more information about MADD, please see the website


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